IT’S fair to say Goulburn has been more than just a happy hunting ground for Bringelly trainer Mark Wilcox this past decade.
Throw in 66 race wins and almost $90,000 in prizemoney at the remarkable winning strike-rate of 41%, three Goulburn Cup successes and a few track records to boot, there’s little wonder that Wilcox doesn’t mind his regular two-hour dart down the Hume Highway of a Tuesday afternoon.
And that success continued on its merry way on Tuesday afternoon with Scientific Man recording a breathtaking performance to land the $20,000 to-the-winner Goulburn Workers Club Goulburn Cup Final (440m) in a sizzling 24.53.
“He’s always been a very quick dog, he had his box on Tuesday but he had to make the most of it and he did,” said Wilcox getting ready to trial on Wednesday morning.
“He’s a perfect railer this dog and from the red and the way they were boxed beside him he looked like he’d get his chance, he’s had plenty of experience around Goulburn and that always helps as well.
“I want to give a big rap to the Goulburn RSL for their generous support, the Goulburn Club is doing a terrific job and to be racing for $20,000 first prize for the Cup is outstanding. The club is going to be doing some work to the back straight soon as well which will only make racing at Goulburn even more tractable.”
Tuesday’s Goulburn Cup victory continued a staggering run of success Wilcox has enjoyed from progeny out of his outstanding producer Winning Shiraz, her pups so far successful at 224 of their 603 career starts, boasting prizemoney of almost $400,000.
That progeny includes 2014 Goulburn Cup hero Natural Player (by Knocka Norris), the 34-race winner joining littermates Knocka’s Return (41 wins), winner of the Goulburn Cup in 2013, and Highly Respected (27 wins), as prolific winners for Wilcox throughout their outstanding careers.
And when quizzed on his mantle of now landing three of the past six Goulburn Cups?
“Well, it’s not a bad habit to have is it,” chuckled Wilcox.
“We’ve been fortunate to get some terrific dogs from her (Winning Shiraz) and a few of the bitches in this litter are now on the way back. I’ll take Scientific Man to Wenty in the next few weeks, I have no doubt he’ll handle the two turns fine, it’s just how he see out the end of 520m, being the speed dog he is.”
And in the aftermath of Tuesday’s stirring Goulburn Cup success, Wilcox recalled a conversation he had with a prospective buyer in the lead up to Scientific Man’s race track debut earlier this year.
“A chap rang after he performance trialled in 19.63 at Goulburn and wanted to buy him,” reflected Wilcox.
“He offered me $20,000 and I said no so he went to $25,000 and I said look I’ll pass, he should earn that with what he’s showing but thanks.
“The guy turned around and said – well he won’t win it around Goulburn!”
Tuesday’s Goulburn Cup success took Scientific Man’s prizemoney tally at Goulburn to a tick over $26,000 for the year, more than validating Wilcox’s call to retain the sleek black chaser, now a winner at 14 of his 24 starts and $41,000 in stakes.
The second feature of Tuesday’s program was the final of the Ladbrokes Cannonball (350m) which saw a runaway victory to the Anthony Azzopardi-trained Myrniong And All in track record time.
Running a staggering 19.35 for the 350m, the son of Kc And All and Eastern Culture extended his career record to 10 wins from the 13 appearances, with Tuesday’s $7,000 first prize taking his stake-earnings to $23,500.